Posts Tagged With: weaving

The Dog is Off

I am usually very conscious of what tools and items I am using cost. I really don’t like to waste anything. Alas, it has been ages since I posted about what was on the loom. I just checked, now I feel really bad. It is better to not look at dates, I posted about this project in September of 2016. Has it been on the loom that long. No wonder not much has been done. I checked that link and there was one before in MAY for starting this. Can I cry over this.

This warp should have been just cut off at some point, but I couldn’t see wasting all that yarn. So on it went once in awhile. I knew I should just cut it off but couldn’t.

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Notice a problem here?

Then this showed up. I wound more on the center two inches than any other of the inches. Well, I just thought I would weave up close and then cut the edges and still weave the center into just a narrow strip. But… the outside bouts broke and came loose. Wasn’t easy to redo and have tension so just dropped them. But after a bit that was the end of my patience with this warp and the scissors came out, and I cut every last one of those inches off. I probably should have done it sooner. But it is done now.

I threw it in the wash and then laid it out to dry and still not pleased with the project, but I was going to go ahead and give a shot at its original purpose and see if it would still work.

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Still not happy but washed.

So all seems ok. Did notice that one of the reds in the thin lines puffed up a bit and shrunk a bit different than the rest of the yarns. Nice little variation to the overall look. Nice chance addition to this cloth. Oops. Did I say something nice about this piece?

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Where did that come from?

But I won’t let that last long. Today I went in and discovered this down the backside. I was finally half pleased to weave this as a 3-1 twill so the stripes showed well on the front and then most of the white was on the back. So though this doesn’t show on the front it has more than a bit of a befuddling about it. There is yellow all about. Actually, just down the two lines. Splatterly. I never noticed it before, and I don’t see it in the above picture. A mystery to add to the misery of this piece. What happened? Not fun to discover on a day of things going south fast. Actually, I did finally start to half laugh today. You can’t have all that happened and just cry.

So anyway the piece is off the loom and I have planned a new project that should be more fun. Just have to order a bunch of yarn. With all I have, I need more.

Now I feel the need to remind myself that this hasn’t been all the fiber I worked on in its time. I have been spinning with my Golding spindle. I also received some yarn at the guild Christmas party. I wove them up on the Zoom Loom and am trying to crochet them together into a vest. Alas, not real happy with it either. Sewed some thrum scarves. So there are other things happening.

But still – YELLOW?!?! I don’t even like yellow. As in I don’t like yellow. My first thought was that the Boys (now named James and John) got in and did the deed. Alas, despite their knack to get to whatever they want, I doubt they’d have gotten up there without destroying the world around them in the process. By that sentence, I guess we all know they have made it into the house on a few occasions. We need a large place, not a pasture size space yet, to contain them now, but alas it is still the backyard and so yes, we have learned that our back door doesn’t latch. Who knew? Not that they get in on their own but they do follow Sam and Mattie inside.

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: | 1 Comment

Two Projects

I did get a hat woven off loom style that actually fits my head. Not only that, it was a bit big. So I’ve crocheted on it and it still is a mite big but works. May still do another single crochet round taking in again but it is good for stuffing all my hair in when going out to do chores.

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Wearing the hat

My usual hat model refused to model a hat again. Did get a picture of Mattie laying down with it on but can’t find it now. So here I am wearing my hat. For as little as I could enlarge the pattern I have to think it has to do with the alpaca that it came large this time.

Also recently at the guild Christmas party, we learned to make Dragon Boats. Of course, I had a bit of getting it going but once I got it, it was rather fun winding it and seeing it grow and cover the whole model without having to change a thing you were doing. I absolutely love the yarn I used. Still need to make a proper hanger for it, but here it is.

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Not perfect but pretty

Oh, and a big plus to today. As I was coming back in after chores I checked the coop, and we have our first egg. Totally wasn’t expecting it so a very nice surprise.

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One of the girls was busy

 

Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Homestead Faire 2016

One of my favorite places, nearby, to visit is Homestead Heritage. It is just north of Waco and they demonstrate and sell so many of what many today consider old fashion crafts and a way of living that is closer to nature. Each year on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving they have a faire and demonstrate more than any one person can see in a day. Plus have lots for sale. You only pay for a parking pass to get in (cheaper bought ahead of time online) and then you can attend all the seminars, workshops, and demonstrations for free though there are quite a few things that you can pay to do and lots of food and items to buy.

Last year we went on a most miserable day. As in cold, rainy really miserable. They actually for the first time repeated the event the following weekend because the first one was quite so miserable. This year I headed north by myself to attend and stay as long as I wanted. I drove through a gully washer getting there and prayed that the weather app was right and things would be very clear by noon.

One place I always check out is the weaving and spinning booth in the craft barn to see what is for sale and drool heavily. This year I was caught by the potholders. Remember making them as a child? Well, they have come a long way with different sizes of looms. I have always loved color and weave patterns and the array of different patterns in them was a wonder to look through. There were two different places with them so lots to see. Made me want to dig out my loom and cut up some socks and try some of the patterns.

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The tags have the name of the young person who made them and their age

I also got a quick look at a sheepdog working hard. Actually, I was hurrying between seminars so didn’t stay long but it was interesting for a short moment.

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Picture taken at a distance so not real sharp.

I also watched a flax demonstration. They have gotten flax to grow and a young gal had some that she then showed the processes that are involved with making linen thread. She used the retted flax and showed simply the steps to turn it into thread and had a bag to show the end process. The funny bit at this was the people that were interested in it and knew nothing so were asking some good questions and learning. I didn’t learn anything new, though enjoyed seeing the different color of the flax between pond and dew retted.

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Flax that has been dew retted and pond retted. If I remember right the cream colored is the pond retted.

I also got to watch rope being made with sisal, again if I remember right it was an 80 foot long station here. I wanted to jump in and take over a bit of the discussion as the guy doing it knew how to make rope, but couldn’t tell why the twist stayed or what was really going on with it. I enjoy watching rope making as the principles are the same as spinning and yes, I do understand the magic of the twist and what is happening. Guess some minds just want to know more of why of what they are doing and what is happening.

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Still setting up the sisal before the twisting starts happening.

One of my favorite demonstrations was the apple press. I actually learned a bit there that was quite interesting and since my favorite snack was some hot apple cider and apple cider donut (SOOOOOO yummy) it was fun to watch it happen.

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Young boy turning handle breaking up apples. Young man pressing apples with cider running into a bucket behind the trash can.

I listened and took notes in seminars on sustainable gardening, alternative energy, chickens, and planning a homestead. Loved the day despite rain in morning and so very cold all day. Would love to go back today but need to get things done here instead. So of course, I’m sitting here typing instead of working. OK, off to work now.

 

Categories: Fiber, Spinning, Weaving | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Learning to Spin

Yes, I learned to spin a few years ago. Have you noticed that learning to spin and mastering all it has takes more than a few years? I feel like I could be spinning the rest of my life and still feel like a beginner.

But what does one do with all those beginning spinning yarns? Most are just small bits. Just a few ounces of fluff that you turned into a semblance of yarn. So they continued to accumulate in baskets and on shelves and soon you wonder what will happen to them. Something needs to happen.

Then one day you are looking at your Zoom Loom and realize you have the perfect tool for using up little bits of homespun. So you start weaving away and start gathering lots of little squares of all colors. What next?

Mine went into a cape. I laid them out in different patterns on the floor, many different times, and eventually came up with a pattern for the back that worked well with what I had so far. (Picture long gone but did take one for when I started putting it together when I had a pattern I liked.) Then started down the front. Alas, as this was a work in progress and depended on what was spun it ended up with a not so evenly pattern on front, but then that is kind of what kind of project this was. What was at hand is what went into it. So the best of the early learning to spin yarn became a new cape.

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The back

The original back idea, that was approved by me, got shortened by a row because of wanting more for the front of certain colors. I now wish I hadn’t changed that and had kept the original back pattern. Alas too late for that change. I am not taking it apart to change anything! I do still like its symmetry. I even remember many of those yarns and their spinning. Some from the very beginning and some further down in time. I do like the thick squares best for looks despite the fact they are so hard to weave the last couple of rows.

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The front

Of course after such a nice pattern on the back I was left with leftovers for the front. There is more of a pattern from the top coming down that then somewhat goes its own way and did its own thing. I don’t dislike it but looking at it on a small scale in a picture, I see where I would now switch some of the squares around and place them in different spots.

I will say though that some of those squares are really nice and some aren’t so very nice. Still blaming it on that early learning curve. The wonder is that I can see where I’ve been and where I’m at now in spinning.

That is quite a fancyish crochet border around it. Two rows done on the same level one in front of the other.  I think this border would look much nicer in a very thin crochet thread on something nice a bit delicate. But it does give it the bulk it needs for what it is.

So Learning to Spin is complete and I do still have several bits of early spinning that is cream colored in a basket. They all look really sad compared to these. Need to dye them and find something to do with them now.

I did post a bit on this project while still not finished at Then and Now Spinning.

 

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

A Hat Declared Done Revisited

I have discovered the pictures that I knew I had taken when I went to record my hat that I wove at A Hat Declared Done. I knew I had them. I hunted all over this computer but to no avail. Then yesterday I realized I had several pictures still on my phone that went that far back. Alas, my computer and phone refuse to communicate right now. Two problems have developed because of this and are driving me crazy trying to figure out but… I can email the pictures to me and have done that this morning, so now I want to show how the hat was done. The pictures aren’t great but at least I have a record.

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The pattern for the warp

First you take this pattern and enlarge it to fit your head. Alas, I’ve known for some time that I have a large head. I can’t wear my husband’s hats. Hmmm… I would have never guessed but I have had a time enlarging this just right. But here went another try and from the pattern side you can see that the underpart is warped. The dotted lines show where the warp goes on the backside of this.

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Started weaving

Once it is all warped then you start weaving. It is going around and around until you have it packed to please you. Now do not look too close at this because I didn’t realize it at the time that I had caught some of the threads and guess what? Yes, one should just tear it all apart if you do that. Guess how I know? Yes, I worked with it since I was already going, but without details, it can be bad and a lot more work when done.

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Top of hat finished weaving

So here I am done with weaving, so now to turn the poster board over and start on the shorter brim area to weave it.

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Weaving the underside of the beret.

Once you have the top packed to please you, then you turn it over and do the same with the underside of the beret. You can see here that I found that the long needle from my Zoom Loom works great for weaving as you can pick up quite a few warp threads at a time.

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Sam gets to appear again. Love this picture.

So here it is done again and sitting on my ever patient with mom, Sam. I really would love to find the book I got this idea out of again. It was an off loom weaving book and I wish I had it again.

Oh and by the way, I have another hat, woven with my handspun alpaca, downstairs just washed and drying. Guess what? It is way too big for this head this time. Guess I will crochet another round on it again and try to tighten it up. Should I give up matching this head. I have had four misses now. I wonder if some of it is the fiber. As I didn’t enlarge it very much between these two.

 

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: | 1 Comment

A Hat Declared Done

I should have recorded this hat sooner but as it has been a bear, I have put it off. You see, I won this yarn as a door prize at a guild meeting, but it refused to be turned into anything. I tried a couple projects that died almost as soon as they started. This was a thick thin yarn of variety of color and looks like types of wool. In my book not a cohesive whole. So it laid about for a year, two, three, who knows how long but way too long. And yes, it has been in the plural of the word year.

Then I decided that it would probably work in the beret pattern that you use poster board for the loom. I had forgotten, I had taken pictures of the weaving until just now. So am stopping to find them. Yes, even getting this thing finished now has taken too long. This yarn really hates me. …. OK. I’m back and though I distinctly remember taking pictures of the process of making this hat, I can’t find them anywhere on this computer. Frustrating but just know that they weren’t great pictures.

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Hat sitting on the first bear Mark bought for me.

Anyway, there is a pattern that you punch holes on poster board and then weave in the warp threads through the holes according to the pattern. When done you then weave as normal around the circle on top and on bottom of poster. After it is stuffed with weft, you then tear out the poster board and have a hat with the top crown and then a turn under. Then you can finish off the bottom by crocheting around it.

Despite this being the third time I’ve made one of these, I still can’t seem to make one large enough for me to actually wear. This one is larger and before the crochet just about fit. But my head is just too big – which my husband would probably have a comment at that point.

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Sam an unwilling model.

Well, to continue the dreary drama. I can’t get a decent picture today of it. Maybe its because I’m doing this instead of what I need to be doing. Or this yarn really is jinxed. But anyway, here is an unwilling Sam, who tried his best to not be mom’s model, but the poor boy is quite picturesque and takes wonderful pictures. Which is odd as his sister is the prettier dog but doesn’t take too many pretty pictures. But I digress. Here is the hat on a living being. Not a perfect fit for a head at all but it does sit there nicely if he isn’t moving.

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A top view

I tried to get a good picture of the colors that are in this yarn and hat. Alas, if there is more daylight it looks white in the light areas and with the dull light inside it looks still washed out. It is a prettyish purplish with spots of green and lavender and very dark purplish yarn. Anything that looks very light in the picture above is actually more lavender and lilac.

So it is done and I can’t wear it. Hmmm… To a box it will go till a time that it finds a new home.

Oh, and if anyone reading this is aware of the book the pattern came from, I’d love to find it again. It was an off-loom weaving book I found at the library about ten years ago now. But this one used poster board for the loom. Rather ingenious method to get the top and then it to curve under. Wish I had the pictures of the process but will be doing another one so will do better about saving the pictures next time.

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: | 1 Comment

Maybe There is Hope

You know when you have big ideas and then they crash before your eyes, and you become depressed and ignore it? Yes, that is what was happening with the warp on the floor loom. I wrote about starting it in There is Something on the Loom.

Now as sad as this is, I did try several things with this warp and nothing looked great. I did weave along but found it hard to want to as it just didn’t look nice, good, ok, well maybe, oh dear what is this mess. So it was time to think radical, and I decided to redo the tie-up on the loom (a countermarche) so that I could weave it in a 3-1 twill. I actually managed to do that fairly easily. It actually is rather simple how the tie-up works on a countermarche though you do have to wrap your head around it and make sure you understand.

So first step accomplished and then a complete change in weft thread was the next step. And we were weaving again.

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This is the backside of the cloth

So I started weaving with a cream thread and it went quickly. You can see a bit of the colors through it but this will be the back of the cloth when finished. I did the tie-up so that three shafts were down and one up for a better shuttle race. So I will be weaving and watching the back. But I did find it quite easy to see that I was keeping it in order. Quite easy to see the twill line and immediately notice a mistake.

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From underneath trying for a picture of the front

I think I am pleased with what is happening now. I at least like it incredibly more than what was happening. You can see in the first picture the dark blue taking over the whole piece.

Now to get this warp woven and off the loom. I have a variation on Log Cabin sitting here beside me that I can’t wait to get on the loom. Somehow I seem to be happier with my two shuttle shadow weave and overshot patterns best.

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Then and Now Spinning

It has been awhile since I posted. I have been in the midst of a larger project for spinning than I normally do. As in, I came up with a plan for all of my handspun, early stuff, that was lying around. Now I have been spinning for a few years though not as continuously to be a consummate master of it. But I have been spinning and do enjoy it.

One day this past spring I hit on a plan for a project. I had a Zoom Loom and loved using it. I had made some squares with my handspun with it, and I have posted before about that at Projects Abound and When Projects Aren’t Going Well. So you can see it has been a couple of years since I decided that using my handspun that was in small lots, not perfect, needing something to happen to them was perfect on a pin loom.

Alas, what was to happen to these squares that I had been making over the past couple of years and mainly here recently? This spring I decided that a perfect project would be to make a cloak. So taking out my squares I laid them out several times on the floor to make patterns and decide what would work with all these diverse squares.

Then my three week trip this summer was coming up. I would be driving Mark’s truck so space was not an issue. They all came with me as well as a spindle and more wool and the Zoom Loom and crochet hook to continue making squares and crocheting them together.

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A sneak peak at the project

I sat for a week watching the extended Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies with my father and spun, wove, and crocheted away. Got quite a bit of the project done on that trip.

As this project is about handspun, past and present, it is very eclectic in its colors, spinning, quality of spinning and wool, well really everything about it.

As it is an evolving project on this end now (though still not completed) there are a few things I would do different but at this point I’m not taking anything apart. It is what it is.

Now I’m spinning and working on a border around the whole thing. Had a pretty merino silk mix that is all the crocheting that you see in the above picture. The colors in it were real subtle and once spun even less so. It seems to be just a black. Though there is a glow about it that doesn’t say black like the picture says. I have run out of that so now have spun some generic black wool I have. Will be interesting to see how the two look together.

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Singles yarn

Now all the spinning being done this summer is on spindles. When traveling I take my Bosworth. But at home I use my Golding. It never leaves home but oh, I love using the Golding most. This black wool has been interesting in seeing how color is really so indefinite. I know that’s not the right word, and I should some day look up proper terminology for what I observe. But it was amazing, to me, to watch this fiber as I drafted it looking toward a window and seeing a blue glow all about it. As the light came through the thin fiber strands it had a pretty blue tint. I know that all has to do with the dying and how black is created in dyes but still despite the chemistry etc. I love to see it happen.

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Piled yarn

Last night I got two spindles plied. So today it will be some more Slow TV of the Knitting Night and crocheting around the cloak. I will see how far this goes and then back to spinning some more. You’ve got it. I don’t know yet how much of a border this will get in the end. Did find a pattern I like and will see how it looks. Then if it does please me, oh dear, I’ll need to be spinning more. I’m sure I don’t have enough for any big dream though I have been amazed at how much farther the yarn has gone than I have expected with the crocheting. (No I haven’t done any numbers to see what I need to do to accomplish any of this. It is what it is.)

As we all need reminders. I went out to look at my very first spinning and the wrist distaff I made with it. Actually my very first was a red that I wove into a hat and it sold at the CHH sale. Rather surprised me that the two hats sold. But a very close second is this white. I didn’t find it. YIKES! I do need to figure out what happened to it. I wouldn’t have gotten rid of, given away, whatever it. It should be still about as a reminder. Thankfully, I did find a picture on the computer of it so here is my first and yes, despite that thin bit in the picture above, I have vastly improved.

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My first spinning project

 

Categories: Fiber, Spinning, Weaving | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

There is Something on the Loom

Yes, my loom is warped, and I did start weaving. I need to get back out there again and get with it. Alas there is a little snag in the plan. But anyways, my plan to begin with was to weave red, white, and blue cloth to make either a valance or swag over some of the windows between the living room and the gallery above. (Now I know gallery is a big word but coming up with a proper name for the walkway between the two sides of the house above was difficult and so I settled on gallery.)

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A warped loom

Because of the mix of yarn sizes I had, this became a mix of ideas in the warp. My loom has a sectional back beam (something I became once again thankful for when I tried to help someone warp front to back recently) with one inch sections. So I just made up a threading for each inch in color and sizes. I was using both 8/12 and 16/2 cotton in this. I then tried to repeat the same pattern in mirror image for the two sides as I worked out from the center. Alas, in threading the reed I realized that a couple weren’t exactly the same but que sera at this point. It will look fine and it isn’t quite noticeable … though more noticeable in this picture than when I’m sitting and working on it.

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A warped loom

Next came the trouble of what to use for weft. In the top picture if you look in the distant top right corner, you can see a bobbin of 16/2 blue thread. As there was so much of it, the plan was for it to be the weft. Alas and alack, It just didn’t look right. Above you can see where I used some size 3 cotton crochet thread to get the spacing done. Then I used the 16/2 blue. Yikes! the crochet thread looked so much better. The colors were just lost in the 16/2. So it was start weaving again with the crochet thread and it did look quite good. I did need a bit of practice on those selvedges but as I was only doing a straight twill I could concentrate on them, instead of a pattern, and things became better.

Then I quickly ran out of crochet thread in size 3 and navy blue. That’s ok, I’m running to Bastrop and can visit Hobby Lobby and get some more. But best laid plans. They didn’t have something that I consider so common. At least in right size and color. Guess still too much in the middle of nowhere. So I got what they did have and will see if it works. If not, I will try some other things with what I have and if all else fails will take a trip to Yarnorama and see what they have.

I did take a picture of the weaving at that point, but it just didn’t look good so it went to the trash bin and will have to wait to see the finished piece. I’m not sure how it will look in the end when wet finished, but I do like the colors and it will be interesting to see what happens. I’m thinking a more valance look is what is going to happen as opposed to swag but that will be ok. It actually will go farther that way.

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Weaving Those Squares Together: Part 3

So I did sit down and weave a square in the corner. It actually went better than any went before which can be seen by the end of this post. So here goes. I am assuming that you have read the last two posts and so am not going to repeat some things from them. I am going to assume you know what you are doing in some points. But this time we are going to be catching loops on all four layers so the needle will be busy.

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Lining up sides to loom

First thing is again to line up the loom at the sides so that pins match. The double loops on both finished squares are in the corner and the double loops that go around the corners are at the ends. This made this one easy to get going.

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First layer catching inside loop

So on the first layer, you begin with catching the loop that goes to the side facing our new square. We do not want to catch the loop that goes to the other side at all.So now to continue with the first layer catch the second loop in each pair since we will be going around the two pins to the left of each set of three pins.

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Circle the corner and make sure of the loop

When finished with the first layer, and you come around the corner, be sure and pick up only the loop on that side of the corner and not the one that faces the outside.

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Making sure of the loop on layer two

Now you continue down the row with the second layer. Going around the second and third pin in each set of three, make sure you pick up the right hand loop of each pair.

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End of second layer and starting the third with a mistake

So you made it to the end of the second layer and now to go around the corner of two pins. Pick up the same loop as did on the first layer. Oh, dear. This is the loop that is to be to the outside of this square and we should not go through the same loop as before. I didn’t realize I did it here, and that I shouldn’t have, till looking at the pictures. But if you look at the following picture, you will see this done correctly on the opposite corner. That outside loop around the double pins does not loop with a finished loop.  But after you just circle the pins, continue on layer 3 and picking up the other corresponding loop to the set of pins. Actually, should be the only loop left in each set of two. Also around this time you will be joining with a new thread. If you cut one long one you are going crazy with all the knotting, but with each layer the thread is getting shorter and thus easier.

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Starting the fourth layer

Now you are finished with the third layer and starting the fourth. We are going to go around the two pins on the outside and do not pick up a loop before starting to weave the first row. This loop is the outside loop of this square and would be caught up with a square on that side. (This is the correct way to do the corner just above.) So do not catch up the loop on the finished square at this point. Did I say that enough times? Do not catch this loop. But continue weaving this fourth layer as normal and catching the leftover loop of each pair as you come around the two pins that correspond to it.

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The finished square

So here is the finished square taken off the loom. Looks pretty good except for that mistake at the top right corner. The dark green loop should just be through the lower loop that is mainly on that side and not the top one that it is also through. Besides that I think it came out pretty good. I may even grow to like the open space between the four squares. I want to reenforce that point but as you’ll see in the next picture, I haven’t come up with a good way to do that. Maybe I should trust it on its own.

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The sample full of experimenting with this idea of connections

So here is my sample for seriously figuring this out. I have connected 8 squares in two rows. (Like you couldn’t figure that out on your own.) I started with the first ones on the right, and I worked my way left. So the two I documented yesterday and today are the two on the far left side. You can see my two experiments with strengthening the inside corners in the first two but they just don’t look nice. Also quite a bit of learning showing there but I think I’ve got a plan and system now for doing it. Now to try in a perfect piece. I see a scarf in there waiting to look nice.

 

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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